Summary: For believers who live with identification of the Cross of Jesus Christ a life of thanksgiving is a natural attitude of life because of the power of God at work in them.
The Power of the Cross Series – Part 4
November 24, 2002
Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an enraged bull. Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence. The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it. Terrified, the one shouted to the other, "Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!" John answered, "I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life." "But you must!" implored his companion. "The bull is catching up to us." "All right," panted John, "I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ’O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.’"
The Bible tells us “in everything give thanks!”
For believers who live with identification of the Cross of Jesus Christ a life of thanksgiving is a natural attitude of life because of the power of God at work in them.
Let’s look at the text again:
1 Cor 1:17-18
17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-- not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (NIV)
Thanksgiving flows from those who identify with the Cross because of …
I. The Power of the Cross in Redemption
1 Pet 1:18-19
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers,
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. (NIV)
3084 lutroo (loo-tro’-o) means to ransom
it speaks of a redemptive price for the purpose of setting the object of redemption free – loosen.
· This redemption is real not symbolic:
The ransom/price was paid thru the shame and cruelty of a Roman cross of crucifixion.
Remember not only did he bear our sin but also our shame!
In her classic autobiography The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time when she and her sister were forced to take off all their clothes during Nazi inspections at a death camp.
Corrie stood in line feeling forsaken and defiled.
Suddenly, she remembered that Jesus had hung naked on the cross.
Struck with wonder and worship during that seemingly forsaken moment, Corrie leaned forward and whispered to her sister: “Betsie, they took His clothes too.”
Betsie gasped and said, “Oh, Corrie, and I never thanked Him.”
· This Redemption is from an empty way of life
KJV – Vain
NIV – Empty
Greek profitless – unsuccessful
Jesus – “what does it profit a man if he gains the whole
world and lose his soul”
Life is filled with vain (empty) chasing after the wind – Without Christ we will pursue happiness and never find it!
Passage speaks pointed at the vainness/emptiness of religion.
“Handed down to you from your forefathers” –
Second hand religion is useless!
Second Hand religion is empty!
Second hand religion is powerless!
It is only by personal experience that the power of cross is released in your life! YOU must be born again. YOU must knee at cross personally, individual and accept that that cross was yours.